Deviating from Mom Food. Shh! It’ll be our secret.
The kid says not to tell Nana she’s got a new favorite ham gravy (we call it “gravy” in our family, but sweet gravy seems odd, so I’ve been calling it sauce—what say you? Sweet gravy weird? Yes/No?).
On second thought, she says, go ahead and tell her—it’s great, but it’s not Nana Food.
My mom was a little put out when I called to ask her for ham advice. I wanted to know about time and temperature, but when she got to the pineapple gravy (I’ll post about that at some point), I stopped her and told her, sadly, “I never have liked that gravy, sorry. I’m going to make a ginger glaze instead.” For one thing, I hate hot pineapple, and for another, I loathe cloves (and most other warm spices like cumin and cinnamon). So I went my own way this time, and it actually may be the first time I’ve eaten baked ham that wasn’t cooked with pineapple. Here it is, in all its fatty glory:
I’m reluctant to post a recipe for this, since the reality was “I have several ginger things in my fridge—wonder what’ll happen if I heat them all together and make a glaze for the ham with them?” After I cooked the ham, I told the kid I didn’t have a name for the dish, but I was thinking “Ham with Four-Ginger Glaze”.
No, she said, this is Ham with Freakin’ Awesome Sauce
[Our plates, left to right: James’s, with sauce in the blue bowl. The kid’s—she added gravy later, and hates greens. Mine (less meat, more veggies, please!) Click to embiggen, as Wil would say.]
The sauce is 1/4 cup ginger spread from the Ginger People, 1/4 cup pickled sushi ginger with its juice, a teaspoon ground ginger, two slices galangal (you could use fresh ginger), and 1 cup water. Boil 5 minutes, strain, boil until reduced enough to start getting sticky. Pour over ham in the last hour or so of cooking. After ham is cooked, thicken pan juices with cornstarch slurry.
For the greens: Have washed chopped greens ready, but don’t dry them; just let the water from the rinse stay on the leaves. I usually toss some salt in with them (and, optionally, garlic) to avoid having to find the salt shaker after everything starts popping. Use mustard greens or kale or whatever you like. This batch was curly mustard greens, a fave of ours. Heat olive oil and mustard seeds (a tablespoon of oil, a teaspoon of seeds, or to your taste) over a medium-high heat. The second the first mustard seed pops, toss in the greens and cook until mostly wilted. Then put the cover on the pot, turn down to low, and let them cook until they practically disappear, or until your other food is ready.
The potatoes are just baked fingerlings.
And then I made a Caprese salad, but with Mexican queso, because that’s what I had handy, and it’s very much like a buttery mozzarella.
Deviating from Mom Food can be fun sometimes, but don’t tell her I followed that up by making chickpea stew instead of split pea soup with the hambone. She’s had enough shocks for one week.